ICILS is the first study in the world to assess the computer and information literacy (CIL) among the 8th grade students. The study goal is to assess the level of students’ IT competencies, which will allow us to answer the questions: how school education contributes to the formation of students’ IT competencies and what factors affect the development of children’s IT skills.
The ICILS study is conducted entirely in computer format. The study assesses the level of students’ understanding of the computer usage principles, collecting information, creating an information product and digital communication. ICILS tasks are designed around five topics, each of which addresses a different aspect in academic, social, or environmental context. All tasks are focused on real-life situations and are grouped into topics from science (board games), social or environment (breathing, recycling), and the student’s social life (music group, school trip).
The main participants of ICILS are 8th grade students, provided that they are 13,5-14,5 years old. In some countries where the average age of eighth graders is less than 13,5
the target group is 9th grade. In Kazakhstan, the indicated age category is 8th grade students. In addition, as part of the study, teachers, and school principals, as well as ICT coordinators from educational organizations are surveyed.
ICILS results provide countries with access to a wide range of data to measure the CIL skill level, to understand how school environment and teaching affects the student CIL level, and to identify the key factors that contribute to or hinder the development of these skills.
RESEARCH STUDY IN KAZAKHSTAN
In the spring of 2018, along with 14 countries, Kazakhstan for the first time took part in the second cycle of the international computer and information literacy study – ICILS-2018. The participants contingent consisted of 3 373 eighth-graders, 2 630 teachers and 184 principals and ICT coordinators from 184 educational organizations from all country regions. This is the first time when such a large-scale ICT literacy assessment has been carried out in the country. The results were published by the IEA on November 5, 2019.
In 2021, Kazakhstan is preparing to participate in the next cycle of the ICILS-2023 study. The results of the ICILS-2023 cycle will be presented by International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement in December 2024.
Participation in ICILS will allow Kazakhstan to obtain an independent assessment of the level of computer and information literacy among 8th grade students in a domestic and international context. The country’s participation in this study will contribute to the active development of IT education. This will provide a multiplier effect on the level of information literacy of the country’s population.